top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Scotland's Foremost Fiddle Player John McCusker Takes To The Stage With 30th Anniversary Tour

Acclaimed Scottish fiddle player, John McCusker, will perform across the UK this October / November, celebrating 30 years as a professional musician.

John is also marking the occasion with the release of a Best Of album, including four new tracks, and a book - John McCusker: The Collection - gathering 100 of his compositions.

His 30th Anniversary UK Tour, which was delayed due to the pandemic, will see The John McCusker Band perform, with Ian Carr, Sam Kelly, Helen McCabe and Toby Shaer in venues up and down the country, with dates in Cardiff, Cambridge, Exeter, Calstock, London, Nettlebed, Sheffield, Birnam, Glassel, Bearsden, Middlesbrough, York, Settle, Saltaire, Bury, Edinburgh, Inverness and Stirling.

John McCusker said: “I’m delighted to be able to get this special show on the road and celebrate 30 years as a professional musician. I’m looking forward to performing the highlights from my back catalogue and revisiting memories associated with those tracks.”

“It’s brilliant that I’ve been able to make music and perform for 30 years and I’ve worked with so many incredible people in that time. I’ve never had a plan, good things have just happened and, so far, it’s worked out as well as I could possibly have dreamed of. I can’t wait to play with my friends again for audiences up and down the country.”

Born in Bellshill, near Glasgow, John began playing fiddle and whistle at a young age, under the influence of his Irish mother and her record collection. He spent 11 years from the age of 17 with Scottish folk institution the Battlefield Band. Dubbed as a “musician’s musician” by trad music legend Phil Cunningham, John is also a longstanding member of the annual Transatlantic Sessions house band.

John was awarded the coveted BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Musician of the Year in 2003 and The Spirit of Scotland Award for music in 1999 and again in 2009. 2016 saw John receive the Good Tradition Award and perform with his band at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards at The Royal Albert Hall. In 2019 John won the Music Category at the Scottish Culture Awards.

His most recent album Hello Goodbye (2016) was his fourth solo outing. Collaborations have included, Before the Ruin (2008) with Roddy Woomble and Kris Drever, the commissioned Under One Sky (2009), and two studio albums The Wishing Tree (2018) and The Reed That Bends in the Storm (2020) with John Doyle and Michael McGoldrick, the trio also producing three live albums.

John is particularly proud of having produced several artists who have become especially influential. His production portfolio includes debut albums by Kris Drever and Idlewild’s Roddy Woomble, and work with Eddi Reader, Kate Rusby, Eliza Carthy, Helen McCabe, Heidi Talbot and Linda Thompson. Film and TV soundtracks include Heartlands (2002) and 16 Years of Alcohol (2003), Billy Connolly’s World Tour of New Zealand (2004), Jennifer Saunders’ BBC sitcom Jam and Jerusalem (2008) and Sky TV sitcom Starlings (2012).

John is renowned for his skill at transcending musical boundaries. Since 2008 he has been a member of Mark Knopfler's studio and touring band, performing on stages around the world, including Madison Square Garden, the Hollywood Bowl and the Royal Albert Hall. As a live and studio guest, he has worked with the likes of David Gilmour, Paul Weller, Paolo Nutini, Julie Fowlis, The Proclaimers, Teenage Fanclub, Idlewild and Ocean Colour Scene.

He is very much looking forward to the next stage of his career, which will include recording a duo album with Helen McCabe and more live dates with John Doyle and Mike McGoldrick.


bottom of page